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of city government. i was chairing an elected commission in los angeles to revise the city charter, and i saw then that he not only was amazingly talented, but a reporter of enormous integrity. at one point he believed the los angeles times was not devoting nearly enough time to charter reform, it was important to the city, and according to los angeles weekly, he quit his position at the los angeles times in protest over this. he put his very job on the line because he believed in the importance of the story. he was then and is now an enormous star of the los angeles times. and as a result of that, the los angeles times decided to change it approach and gave tremendous attention to charter reform. i will always believe that charter reform succeeded in 1999 in los angeles because of what jim newton did and the covers of the l.a. times. a few years ago he mentioned to me he was planning to take some time off to do a biography of earl warren. i thought it was a great idea. and then i had the chance to read the book, and without a doubt it's the best judicial biography that i've ever read. so
you will have, in fact, that i welcome. this is, we're told, the most important election in our lifetimes, and it may be that more people believe that this year than believed it in 2008, 2004 and 2000 or other elections when that is regularly said. for this to be true, though, among other things elections must, in fact, be decisive, with genuine consequences for the making of public policy particularly with regard to domestic policy. um, we could have a separate conversation about the issue of presidential power with regard to foreign policy, military policy. but let me say that my primary interest in the book and in my remarks this evening is much more domestic policy, and can the extent to which elections do or do not bring us close to resolving important issues of domestic public policy. for the older members in this audience, there has been at least one election that did fundamentally change america, and that is 1964, a mere 48 years ago. when all of the stars were aligned not only to create a landslide victory for president lyndon johnson -- after all, richard nixon got a l
or became. um, the big issue, the big change began in 1980, of course, with the election of ronald reagan because ronald reagan brought with him to washington, um, a very underrated figure in recent american history, someone who i don't think gets his due as an important person, and that's edwin meese. because edwin meese at first as an adviser and then as attorney general said, look, there has been a liberal ayen da at the supreme court -- agenda at the supreme court, there needs to be a conservative agenda at the supreme court. what was that agenda? expand executive power, end racial preferences intended to assist african-americans, speed up execution, welcome religion into the public sphere and, above all, um, reverse roe v. wade and allow states once again to ban abortion. a big part of the reagan revolution, um, was the arrival in washington of a group of young and committed conservative lawyers who wanted to work in that, on behalf of that agenda. who were two of the best and brightest of that group? john roberts and samuel alito. 197 finish -- in 1985 in a memo plotting litigation
and there was no pressure on that one. we are moving into another election about change. the central question is whether government is capable of contributing to positive change. the stimulus is exhibit a for the republican argument which is weird because it really ought to be exhibit a for the argument that it can. i realize i sound like an obama cheerleader. it is an extremely uncomfortable role for me and there's a theme for the end of the book where i am talking to joe biden who oversaw the stimulus. he let me sit in on a cabinet meeting devoted to the stimulus and basically giving me a hard time. i read all your articles. you are the only guy who wrote anything remotely positive. i am usually more of a downer than little mary sunshine. my friends will back me up on that. it is unusual for me. he started laughing at me. took him to bed and slept on them -- i didn't get into journalism to tell stories that joe biden would want to cuddle with. i followed the facts and my stories look blowing compared to the ridiculous thoughts ofs without the gotcha that passed for stimulus journalism. as i said about
Search Results 0 to 3 of about 4

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